It is true the USA female candidate lost. And it is true USA is a patriarchal society. It is also true, 99% of the time, we all vote in patriarchal societies.
USA is also a white led capitalist society. Two white candidates one man and one women. The woman lost! The man was awarded for being the living incarnation of white-supremacy.
As spectator from the peripheral perspective of my current living place (Sarajevo) I would say that there is nothing surprisingly in what happened.
In binary systems, the ones who accept the binary vote with clarity, the ones who do not belong just to ones side/frame of the binary (race, class, age, … sexual orientations) looks for a candidate that could hold their many issues consistently.
One of the meme of this campaign was about Clinton to become the first women president of USA and that worked for many as a promise good enough to support the projection and hold/put/host/answer to the requests for a more inclusive and social just agenda.
But let’s be politically honest her politics had social class stronger than gender. Her fidelity through the years to power and moneys as well as to the way establishment master decisions weaken her credibility.
As feminist voter, at each election, I have always asked myself the same political-gendered questions: Would I vote for a conservative political woman?, no I would not.
Would I vote for a women sitting side by side with bankers and the 1%, no I would not.
Would I be cornered and pressured to give up my agency in favor of a binary acceptances of the less evil?
The USA system is in its essence a binary voting system, the Clinton campaign and the Democrats were expecting and asking all fighters to suspend all their living fights and issues to unite against the common biggest evil: the Trump.
This is the kind of request all feminists and political activist resisting, opposing and building narratives of inclusion in all the fake democracies, fragile states and authoritarian systems, receive.
We all are constantly asked to refrain from divergences, from our many issues-struggle, from our living lives, to suspend our own judgment and come together to respond to the emergency and fight against the supposed common super-lethal-enemy.
Feminists and political activists all over the world, have to continuously learning, explaining and denounce how the real request is about stopping the diversity of people issues-struggles, to accept a hierarchy of issue-struggle and become part of the-just-one-common-battle-scenario which will defeat the incumbent-super-evil to later come back to our own diminished, less relevant, divisive battles.
Well, I think this strategy with Clinton did not worked. Many of non-white-supremacists voters could not accept to be squashed in one single-issue-struggle and ally within the-just-one-common-battle-scenario. Because as Audre Lourde said “there is no such thing as a single issue-struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives”. And it is exactly here that the tale of Clinton as the first women president of USA ended.
Projecting her as the first woman president of USA was all what Latino, Black, Native American women and white women from all social classes, education, age, sexual orientation, genders, non-white-supremacists, individuals were offered in terms of a different agenda, a democratic agenda (I wish I could say a social justice intersectional anti-capitalist agenda).
Would I have voted for my local Clinton, would I have renounced to the historical possibility of bringing a women to hold the most prestigious place of power?
Anywhere in the world, from the most tiny to the biggest country we can have female candidates winning. As feminists, as political agents of change and disrupters of the patriarchy using gender as a unifying historical element of fight we need to be adamantly clear on which is the overall political agenda.
As Angela Merkel, and before her many others showed if you are a truly traditional conservative iron lady (she is not a feminist to dislike this term) you can win. In Clinton the electorate recognized that the declared gender equality agenda collided with equally important patriarchal practices of exploitative white elitism capitalism.
As a global but local feminist citizen I am interested in reflecting about the perpetuating of binary by the ones who call for a suspension of our multi-issues-struggles in order to win the evil. And the attempt to transcend it creatively and ethically.
The privilege of Trump gender, race, class displayed in USA as is displacing all around the world, let’s not be fooled. And it is true Clinton lost from this massive rampant white supremacist, which eventually succeeded to bring their white man to win the presidency of their state.
Still we need to acknowledge that (discontent, disillusioned non-white-supremacists) voters who did not wanted to surrender their agency were cornered in a binary system that wanted them to pretend/believe Clinton was different. But they knew she was served and going to serve the same elitists system of values. White moneys with just cosmetics concessions. It was wrong to push voters in this unsustainable binary and even more wrong to hope/use/claim gender as the flags that would blender people needs while asking voters to disregard the substantial dissonances.
So Clinton as first female candidate to the USA presidency lost, not only because she was the woman candidate smashed by the patriarchy.
She was also the realpolitik politician on the side of bankers and financial elites playing the woman candidate of diversity and social justice.
The woman candidate I would have vote for is among us and she has yet to be elected in the majority of our countries, and I hope she will take many surprising non-binary shapes.
Post-scriptum: non-binary power obsessed political campaigns are possible as demonstrates by the Iceland pirate party, equal gender ratio elected candidates and more complex articulation within.